Back from first day at that MDM Summit Europe, so a few rough and ready notes I scribbled down along the way. (Might return to tidy them up later in the week… or perhaps not!)
First up was the keynote from conference chairman Aaron Zornes. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the need for flexibility in mashing up data… yep, mash-up. I’d already been pondering how mash-ups could apply to MDM in light of recent Lotus Mashups and my new job. It was also interesting to note that MDM could be the first experience of SOA for a company. SOA was mentioned a couple of times through the day as being a big help for MDM technology.
Second up was David Corrigan who did a good job talking about trends in MDM rather than specific details on IBM products. He touched on the danger of building silos of master data, and there was some hint of this in some of the other sessions I went to. Something I hadn’t heard before was the goal to have the right view of data, not simply a single view of data. (Quick show of hands shows that the audience is largely from IT not business side.) Good news for my new job is that MDM user interfaces are among the five key product requirements. His biggest sales pitch for IBM was the large established client community that already exists for IBM MDM products. One example being PostFinance and Jochen Schneider described their project. I guess more of them might be found at the British Library for IOD UK tomorrow.
Last keynote was from Colin Richard who talked about data governance. As he predicted, “Data Quality Firewall” stood out as a new meme here! (That’s not all he said but it was hard to remember the rest after that great phrase!)
Next up I chose Ed Wrazen’s industry innovation session. He mentioned a growing spreadsheet mentality in business and, here’s that word again, a desire to mash up data from different systems because it takes IT too long to make changes to production infrastructure. Hmmm, spreadsheets2.0?
I started the afternoon on track 2 with Tony Richardson’s presentation about ContactPoint. This is master data on a national scale. Web services seem to be a key component, allowing end users to carry on using the systems they are familiar with, just now equipped with an interface to ContactPoint. He also mentioned the security aspects but disappointingly didn’t go into them in any detail. In contrast with prereqs mentioned elsewhere, a feature of ContactPoint was that there were no reliable unique identifiers.
Next up in track 2 was a panel on best practices in government services. Kathy Watts, Ian Cohen and Tony Ellis answered questions from the audience on linking data governance with MDM, problems and how to secure business sponsorship.
For a bit of variety I switched to Kimi Walker and Kjell Wittmaack talking about MDM in large enterprises in track 3. Another mention of data in spreadsheets- I see a pattern emerging! They showed a bit more detail on some possible metrics to build a business case for MDM. The data owners and roles were interesting, especially the acknowledgment that there needed to be well defined paths to escalate problems- a single owner could not know everything about data that has homes across the business.
And finally, for today at least, another IBM customer. Peter Stocker and Paul Theriault tackled tactical problems to strategic solutions. Project management 101 was a reminder that MDM should primarily be a business journey. Indeed, referring to MDM could be counter productive if the business perception is hostile to “IT science projects.” Focusing on a sound business case for short term payback means they can stop after solving an immediate problem, but they have paved the way to build out the MDM vision if the business supports future projects.